Fees: to raise or not to raise? Take our poll

19Feb11

Here in the UK inflation is still rising and the recent 2.5% increase in Value Added Tax will add to the upwards pressure on prices. Not to mention the mutterings about interest rate rises further down the line.

If you’re self-employed and want to maintain your spending power your options are:

  1. Work smarter — make greater/better use of productivity tools to increase output without increasing your working hours
  2. Work harder — put in more hours to churn out more “product”
  3. Raise your prices

Having kept my rates steady for several (too many) years I’ve opted for a mix of 1 and 3.

I’ve raised my rates, and so far have stuck to my guns. And so far, I haven’t lost any business as a result (touching wood (UK) and ferro (Italy)).

As for option 1 — I’m working on it, but not very smartly so far. If you’ve got any recommendations of great productivity tools for small businesses, translation and otherwise, please share them in the comments!

But back to fees. Have you raised yours? Do you plan to? Take our poll and let us know.



5 Responses to “Fees: to raise or not to raise? Take our poll”

  1. I have heard that you should raise your rates every year to match the inflation. However, it is easier to raise rates to new clients than to existing, good clients.

  2. I don’t know if it counts as a productivity tool, but I’m considering asking my better half to do some marketing for me when I’m taking a break from the computer. Multi-tasking :).

    • Sounds like a great idea to me. Hope you have better luck with your BH than I’ve had with mine. David Pogue from the New York Times seems to have that side of things sussed out:

      I’m lucky enough that I don’t spend time on bills, taxes, travel arrangements, kid-activity scheduling, and so on; my sainted wife takes care of all that administrative overhead.

      Sigh.

  3. In terms of productivity, I have found that keeping my expenses well organised from the outset is really helpful. Every week, I write down my expenses on a spreadsheet already set up with the Inland Revenue’s tax return categories, and I mark whether each expense is deductible or not. So when it comes to doing my tax return the figures are already there, I just do a final check that everything is in place. It takes me 2 hours max.

    • Thanks, Ilaria. Sounds like a good tip. But my favourite would be David Pogue’s (see my reply to Oliver Lawrence’s comment). Only problem is, I don’t have a wife.


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